Printmaking Week 3

LESSON TITLE: Printmaking (3 of 6)
TEACHER NAME: Jennifer November
GRADE LEVEL: 7th & 8th
CLASS TIME: _1hr 45_Minutes _1_Days/week _6_# Class(es)


Students will carve their second layer and see how when printed on the first layer how the image is formed.

Students will print their finished relief prints on card stock.


  • Pencil
  • Newsprint or Drawing paper
  • Erasers
  • Gouge, blades #1-6
  • Cutting block surface
  • 4×6 Linoleum block
  • 4.5×6.5 Card-stock (can be found at most craft stores often used for scrapbooks)
  • 5×7 Blank cards and envelopes (used for mounting later)
  • Ink of various colors (water based)
  • Inking tray (we used old baking sheets, just needs to be a non-absorbant surface
  • Phone book
  • Brayer

VOCABULARY (already gone over in week one, but there is always an importance in reenforcing the technical terms of the tools, allow your students to feel like experts in their work).

Printmaking Powerpoint

Terms can be found on the Printmaking Week 1 post.


Students are now in their third printing class. By now students should have begun carving the relief print and this class I want them to carve and print their first layer of their reduction prints. This is important because we only have three more classes left. For the next three sessions they need to carve and print each layer.

Students already have their drawings transferred to the printing block and they are to check in with the teacher about the tickles of the lines. Once they do I have them go over the lines with a sharpie marker. One that has a fine point (not ultra fine), this is to ensure the thickness of the lines is a certain size. Since we are using softer printing blocks, the details of the print need to be refined so they are not too small or thin. If they are the chances of cutting off an important part of the image are greater.

Once they are done with the sharpie they need to check in with the teacher on last time to talk about what should be on each layer. They are to only cut away the negative space that they don’t want in the image at all. This is often a silhouette of the image, or perhaps in a landscape scene it may be the sky that is carved away leaving the clouds and ground to be printed. The second layer that will be printed on the same print will later be more details of the image.

After they carve away the first layer they should rinse off their blocks to remove any excess dust, sharpie makers and have a clean, dry surface ready to print. (If the block is wet the ink will not stick to the block very well and the print will not come out).

Students are to print at least a dozen or more of these first layers. This is crucial because often students can make a beautiful first print. but the second print can sometimes be off register and can cause for an unsatisfying result. If this happens it is necessary to have more prints than you may think you need in order to have a sizable amount for a finished product. (Since we are using these as products to sell and we have a certain amount ordered we need to keep this in mind throughout the whole session).

Follow Up

The students worked diligently on their projects. At this point all of them have two set designs for their prints are are already carving away their first layer. They now have two projects going on at once, and this seems to be really helpful with keeping them motivated to finish their projects. They seemed to feel a bit more pressure to produce both projects but at the same time seemed really excited that they could work on two different things during the one class.

Some students were able to carve and print their first layer on this day as well. When this happened for the first time I was happy to make an example of the official printing process. I showed them the procedure of how to line up the print so that it would be in the center of the paper. We began by pulling test prints on scrap paper. I explained to them that by doing this you really get to see what you product looks like. And from the test pull they can make adjustments to the carved block. If they needed to go back into the block they had to wash off the ink, dry the block and go back to cutting. Once I demonstrated this process 2 or 3 times to the whole class, they all seemed to work well through the process.

Class is never long enough for us, and clean up can take an average of 15 minutes, including drying and putting everything away. I was really happy with the progress they made during this class.


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